The 1964 Fantasy Records release of The Vince Guaraldi Trio’s A Boy Named Charlie Brown has been regularly reissued around the world in what seems like every format imaginable: LP, CD, SACD, cassette, FLAC, and so on. The latest iteration of this classic album for kids of all ages hits stores July 16 from Craft Recordings, followed by a Record Store Day tie-in single the following day for RSD’s second Drop. This version, unlike the 50th anniversary reissue which restored the original 1964 artwork, uses the 1972 reissue cover. The album has been newly remastered from the original analog tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, and adds eight baseball cards to the package – one for each member of Charlie Brown’s Peanuts “team” (Snoopy, Woodstock, Peppermint Patty, Linus, Lucy, Franklin, Schroeder, and Charlie himself). Each card has “stats” for the player including field position and favorite sandwich (!).
A Boy Named Charlie Brown has long been labelled an “Original Soundtrack” because pianist and Trio leader Vince Guaraldi composed and performed it for a CBS-TV documentary that never came to fruition. This has led to some confusion over the years as the 1969 animated feature film about Snoopy and his gang was also entitled A Boy Named Charlie Brown. Guaraldi co-composed the score to that film while poet-singer Rod McKuen wrote the songs. The movie yielded a Columbia Records “story and songs” album and an album of McKuen’s songs on his Stanyan label as well as two subsequent CDs: one from Kritzerland of the complete soundtrack and one from Craft sister label Varese Sarabande of the McKuen LP. (Got all that?) The Fantasy album was originally entitled Jazz Impressions of A Boy Named Charlie Brown, but the title has been abbreviated since the 1972 reissue.
The LP found Guaraldi, supported by bassist Monty Budwig and drummer Colin Bailey, introducing some of his most famous compositions including “Linus and Lucy.” It was one of the tunes he incorporated into his score for a 1965 television special which did make it onto the air: A Charlie Brown Christmas.
This new pressing of A Boy Named Charlie Brown will be offered on standard black vinyl plus two color variants, including a green-grass pressing at Target, a sky-blue version for Vinyl Me Please. (A third variant, a baseball mitt-brown version available exclusively at the Craft Recordings Store and limited to 350 units, sold out the morning of its appearance in the store). For Record Store Day’s Drop 2 on July 17, another of the LP’s most beloved cuts – “Baseball Theme” – will be released as a 7-inch single backed with an alternate take of the song. It’s pressed on white vinyl and housed in a colorful picture sleeve celebrating Charlie Brown and Snoopy’s love of baseball.
While Vince Guaraldi scored a total of 15 Peanuts specials during his lifetime (1976’s It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown was the last), his Peanuts discography is much smaller with just this album, A Charlie Brown Christmas, the recent first-time soundtrack of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, the 1969 big-screen soundtrack, various compilations, and a Warner Bros. studio album dedicated to his music for the franchise. (A couple of limited-edition CDs of Lost Cues have never seen wide release.) He died from a heart attack in 1976 at the age of 47.
Craft’s baseball-themed reissue of A Boy Named Charlie Brown remastered by Kevin Gray is due on July 16 at the links below!
The Vince Guaraldi Trio, A Boy Named Charlie Brown (originally released as Jazz Impressions of A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Fantasy 85017, 1964 – reissued Craft Recordings, 2021) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
- Oh, Good Grief
- Pebble Beach
- Happiness Is
- Charlie Brown Theme
- Linus And Lucy
- Blue Charlie Brown
- Baseball Theme
- Frieda (With The Naturally Curly Hair)